New images of Notre Dame Cathedral show extent of fire damage

Officials in France said the iconic church was just 15 to 30 minutes away from total collapse but that it was saved by firefighters.
2:01 | 04/17/19

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Transcript for New images of Notre Dame Cathedral show extent of fire damage
And from Paris tonight, we have new video of the damage at notre dame cathedral. The view from above tonight, showing the roof completely gone there. The view into the cathedral from the air, those two famous towers still standing. But now we have learned authorities feared they were just minutes from collapsing. And ABC's James Longman from Paris again tonight. Reporter: New images tonight of notre dame revealing the scope of destruction. Its top charred from end to end. Huge sections of the roof collapsed, a hole in France's heart. As teams today doused the building, fresh worry the remaining wood and lead above was weakened by the fire and all that water used to fight it. The head of France's construction federation telling us the same materials that once held this building together could now bring it all down. French officials say notre dame was just 15 to 30 minutes away from total collapse. And tonight, we're hearing from father Fournier, the hero firefighter chaplain who rushed in to save the relics, as the church's spire fell. He says his team broke into the area holding the famed crown of thorns, believed to have been worn by Jesus. They found a staffer with the code to quickly unlock its container so they could rush the relic to safety. Across France today, the sound of solidarity, churches ringing their bells for their mother church who no longer can. And James lodgeman joins us live tonight from outside the cathedral. And James, we know so far, about a billion dollars has been raised to restore notre dame? Reporter: Yes, that's right, but they're probably going to need another billion to complete the work. President macron wants this done in five years, but experts say it's probably going to take twice as long to rebuild. And David, there is such interest in this church that the hunchback of notre dame has now shot up to the top of the best-seller list here in France. David? Incredible and not terribly surprising. James Longman, thank you for reporting from Paris again tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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